One service only Sunday November 12, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.
This past week we remembered all those who have lived and died in the faith on All Saints Day (1 November) and All Saints Sunday. The Christian Church has been marking this day from its earliest history. On All Saints Day and All Saints Sunday, we give thanks for the lives of those who died in the past year, and we take comfort in the promises of eternal life and salvation given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
All Saints is also an opportunity to reflect on how the faith of others—both well known to us and those we have never met but have heard about—have shaped and nurtured our faith.
All of us who have grown up or into the faith have been shaped by the scripture. Those who were inspired by God to record our faith history, the life of Jesus, and the work of the early Church have given us the foundations for our faith. People such as St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, St. John, and St. Paul have given us this gift. If we have delved deeply into our history, we may have also been touched by faithful people such as St. Mary the Mother of our Lord, St. Peter, or even some of the great theologians of the faith such as St. Ignatius and St. Francis.
Others who have not been given the title “saint” in any official way also have shaped who we are as the Church. Martin Luther, through his work and faith, gave shape to who we are as Lutherans, and gave us the gift of understanding that grace and love are gifts freely given to us by our God. This work was carried on by other ‘saints” such as Philip Melanchthon and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
And then there are those well known to us who have shaped how we understand and live out this gift of faith.
For me, these include my maternal grandmother Rosalyn, and my mother Harolyn. Both of these woman, in their own ways, taught me about faith and service; through altar guild, Sunday School, Council … and through every day moments such as teaching me prayers and showing me what it means to be devoted to the ones we love.
I also think about people such as my seminary worship professor, Mark, who instilled in me a deep love for worship. He showed me what it means to be respectful, loving, and welcoming in the worship ministry of the Church.
I think of my dear friend Meryne, whose love for Jesus shone through her everyday life, as well as through her devotion to the Church and the ones she loved.
Who have been the saints in your life? Who has nourished your faith or challenged you to grow more and more as a follower of Jesus? Take a moment to give thanks for these people and the way they have impacted who you are.
Whose faith might you nurture? How can you help someone in your life grow in their faith through your witness?
May we look ahead with hope and faith to the day when we gather with all these saints in the kingdom of heaven.
Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time In Fellowship Hall after the 10:30 service Nov. 12
November19th – Happy 70th Birthday Party– Ron Hiatt, Gretchen Hiatt, Cindy Wood, Brenda Holderman, Sue Wagner, Cathy Holewinski, Mary Schneider, Ruth and Ken McKenzie – Join us for cake and fellowship as we celebrate the Big 70 this Year.
This year’s poinsettia sale will be from November 19 – December 17, 2023. Plants will be sold for $10.00, to decorate the church for Christmas services and to benefit the VBS program at Grace. Forms will be available for your order. Merry Christmas! Thank you for your support of this effort.
The Readings for Sunday November 12, 2023
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Advent Study A study of the book, An Unlikely Advent, will be held beginning the week before Advent and through the first three weeks of Advent. Pastor Brenda will lead the study about the extraordinary people of the Christmas story. Participants have three choices of times to participate – Sundays at 8:15 a.m., Mondays at 11 a.m., or Wednesdays at 6 p.m. So that books can be ordered for all participants, we ask that those interested sign up to participate. Sign up sheets will be available at the back of the sanctuary beginning October 29. Please consider joining others in this Advent study!
You have the power to help within you, will you choose to use it? Each week the community of faithful called Grace touches the lives of hundreds of individuals and their families. We bless others by raising up their spiritual needs; tend to physical needs such as food and clothing; provide a safe place for families to visit their children; as well Grace is a place for individuals dealing with behavioral/mental challenges come together with others with similar challenges to support and care for each other as they work to address their life struggles.
All of that happens only because each of us support Grace financially through our regular contributions, made weekly or monthly. Unfortunately, through September, our expenses have exceeded our revenues by over $21,000. This is not a bad news story, in fact compared to 2022 our total offerings have increased. Last year Grace faced a much larger deficit at the end of September. While Grace was not able to eliminate our deficit in 2022 many members stepped up with additional giving to assist us during the later part of the year.
As we approach what some call “The Season of Giving” pray and reflect on the financial blessing you have received. Please help us as the community of Grace bless so many others by increasing your financial support to Grace. None of us can to this alone. Yet if we all contribute an increased portion of our blessings, together we can Bless the World, and Be God’s Grace.
David Charvat, Treasurer
Meditation on Matthew 25:1-13
By Vicar Dave
I really enjoy it when our adult children come home, especially so when our daughter brings her two boys. We always have a very good time and I always anticipate their arrival. But sometimes they can run late. Three of them live out of town after all, and you can’t always rely on traffic flowing smoothly. And if you’ve ever had small children, you know how they can slow you down. I remember a show where a dad got his three-year-old all bundled up in a snow suit and as soon as he was done, she announced that she needed to go to the bathroom. Trying to time dinner for their arrival can be challenging to say the least. But somehow, we manage to have it warm and ready most times.
Today’s Gospel is about anticipation and being ready. Jesus uses the image of a bridal party waiting for the groom as a metaphor for the coming of God’s kingdom. At the time that Matthew was writing this text, a lot of people were expecting Jesus’ return at any time. Like the bridegroom, Jesus did not arrive when they expected Him to. We are, of course, still looking for Him today. The point that Jesus was making is that we should always be ready because He could arrive at any time. Like the wise bridesmaids, we should be ready for all contingencies.
You may have heard the phrase; “live each day as if it were your last”. Usually that’s used as encouragement to live each day to the fullest. Taking chances and trying to experience everything you can. I would use it as an encouragement to do as much of God’s will as you can while you have the chance. Spend time in prayerful discernment about what God is calling you to do. Go to God with a repentant heart and forgiving others who may have hurt you as well. Look for ways that you can improve the lives of your brothers and sisters. God will show you what He wants you to do.
We don’t know when Jesus will return. We only know that He will. As John the Baptist would say; “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight His paths.” We can do this through repentance and asking for forgiveness. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, is always ready to forgive.
Behind the scenes at Grace… .. By Gretchen
- Wow! What a Fall Treat extravaganza on the last Sunday in October at Fellowship Hour! They were all scrumptious and of course highly nutritious (tongue in check)!!!!
- Burrito Blessing 419 constructed over 200 Burritos and provided gloves and some other clothing items.
- Our beautiful view from the office of the gorgeous red maples is quickly fading as the wind blows them to the ground.
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace!
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
The Power of Red!!!
Red is a power color. If you have an important meeting or presentation, you are to wear red as it commands attention, and you are definitely seen (unless everyone is wearing red)!
Red is so powerful that it can actually save lives! One unit of blood can actually help as many as 3 people! That is pretty significant.
Grace has 3 Blood Drives alone during the year and then we join with the Interfaith Group for a drive in June.
Our Winter Blood Drive is scheduled for January 11th from 12-6 pm.
The schedule is open. You may make an appointment online or call Gretchen Hiatt 419-944-5166 to make an appointment.
There is a significant shortage of blood, and this is a great way to give back to the Community and takes so little time and even involves treats!!!!
Bugs, Bugs and More Bugs!
Have you done it? Have you scheduled them?
What? The flu shot and the covid booster!!!! So far the CDC (Center for Disease Control) information shows that flu is slowly increasing in some areas as is Covid. However, it is getting colder and we will be gathering in groups for the Holidays so PLEASE Get your vaccines!
Season of Indulgence!
Yep, it is coming and maybe you even did a little with the Halloween Candy?
All of our favorite foods and snacks are slowly coming. 17 days till Turkey Day and 49 till Christmas! Yikes!
We should be eating healthy all the time, but the holidays are the times we cheat. So, to get ready for the season, start eating healthier now. Fresh fruits and vegetables are still plentiful and are so flavorful. Start walking. The weather (other than Halloween) has been beautiful to walk outside at the parks or even around the block. Maybe even lose a few pounds if needed to prepare for the indulgence of all favorite foods.
** Remember if walking leaves are slippery and it is getting dark a lot earlier.
A note of thanks for anyone who made soups, provided desserts, purchased soup, donated time/money/prayers for the youth? The sale was soup-erb and brought in $2100 for the youth trip to New Orleans this summer! Stay tuned for additional fundraising endeavors including another soup-ER bowl soup sale in February!
Thanks from the youth committee.
I’m going to take a moment and talk about Grace’s Stewardship Sunday coming up November 12Th and what you can expect.
WHAT is Stewardship and WHY do we talk about it?
Stewardship is the responsibility that Christians have in maintaining and using wisely the gifts that God has given us. It is recognizing that everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God and being grateful for those gifts. Stewardship is about sharing our time, talent and treasure with God and others. This is done by the way we live, love, give and serve. It is by the way we continue the ministry of Christ. God calls us to make a joyful noise in our community and world that is BOLD, IMPACTFUL and FILLED WITH LOVE and JOY!
WHAT will happen on Stewardship Sunday?
It will be a Sunday where we make a commitment to return to God, through the ministry of Grace, a portion of the financial resources God has entrusted to you. Each one of us decides in our heart what and how to give. It is a time when you are invited into the spiritual practice of self-giving that supports every part of the world that is of love. We do this through Intention Cards.
There will be one service at 10:30 am. There will be a guest preacher, and there will be a light breakfast reception following the service in Fellowship Hall.
Also on Sunday November 12th, there will be a few displays set up to highlight the different ministries offered here at Grace. It will give you an opportunity to sign up for or get additional information about the ministries and ways you can connect with others within the life of Grace Lutheran Church.
WHAT are intention Cards?
An annual renewal of our stewardship intentions is important to the life of any congregation. To the life of Grace. The Intention Card is a tool we use whereby each person or family can make a yearly financial commitment while allowing Grace to plan and budget for the upcoming year. Returning your Intention card is a sign of your participation and commitment to the Grace family.
And it’s not just monetary. You will also have an opportunity to commit to participating in various ministries here at Grace.
Maybe there are opportunities in your neighborhood or community to which you are being called to respond?
Does your day include taking care of your personal health?
Are there simple steps you can take to reduce your consumption of resources or purchase of unnecessary items?
THESE are some examples of being a steward. Of understanding stewardship.
Take the cards home.
Pray over them.
Listen for the voice of God for guidance.
Cards will be returned the following Sunday, November 19th.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.
Hope to see you Sunday, November 12th at 10:30am!
A few pictures from the Diabetic Youth Halloween Party held here recently
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!